India's NSE puts trades in some Adani firms under additional watch

Traffic moves past the logo of the Adani Group installed at a roundabout on the ring road in Ahmedabad
Traffic moves past the logo of the Adani Group installed at a roundabout on the ring road in Ahmedabad, India, February 2, 2023. REUTERS/Amit Dave

BENGALURU, Feb 2 (Reuters) - India's National Stock Exchange on Thursday said it has placed on additional surveillance shares of Adani Enterprises (ADEL.NS), Adani Ports (APSE.NS) and Ambuja Cements (ABUJ.NS).

Investors will have to pay 50% or existing margin, whichever is higher, subject to cap of 100%, the exchange said, following a rout in the shares of companies of Adani Group after a scathing report by U.S. short-seller Hindenburg.

The NSE also placed Monarch Networth Capital (MONR.NS), one of the 10 underwriters of Adani Enterprises' (ADEL.NS) botched share sale, under additional surveillance.

The Ahmedabad-based brokerage was responsible for "non institutional marketing", according to the Adani share sale document. Hindenburg had flagged Monarch in its research report for conflict of interest.

Monarch was not immediately available for comment outside regular business hours.

Last year, Adani Group acquired Ambuja Cements Ltd (ABUJ.NS) and ACC (ACC.NS) from Holcim AG (HOLN.S) to enter the business.

The group has denied the short-seller's accusations, saying the allegation of stock manipulation had "no basis" and stemmed from an ignorance of Indian law.

Market losses in the group companies swelled to more than $100 billion on Thursday, a day after its flagship company abandoned the fully subscribed $2.5 billion stock offering.

Adani Enterprises tumbled 27%, closing at their lowest level since March 2022.

Other group companies also lost more ground. Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone shed nearly 7%, while Ambuja closed up 5.5% after losing nearly 17% in the previous session.

Adani Group did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the exchange's latest decision.

(This story has been corrected to remove the price band in paragraph 3, and change the margin need in paragraph 2)

Reporting by Jayshree in Mumbai, Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil and Sriraj Kalluvila

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